Gary V 2.0

“It was tough but I feel great now.”

Gary Valenciano ( Gary Valenciano

This is what singer-songwriter Gary Valenciano told Bulletin Entertainment right after a mall show, mere weeks after going under the knife twice.

He follows new do’s and dont’s. He avoids eating salty food and goes to the gym regularly. He’s back to dancing and biking, too. The icon goes to the beach frequently for improved mental health.

“In there (on the beach), I was able to deal with all the questions in my head. Not everything was answered but there was so much peace that came upon me,” he revealed.

“I’ve realized I’m human after all. Even if people call me Mr. Pure Energy, it’s a deception to think that nothing wrong can happen to me.”

Surprisingly, there are things he feels he needs to do more “urgently” now.

“There are things I cannot put aside anymore. There are projects I want to do specially targeting the younger generations, the students, who are about to graduate and face the real world. I feel that I really need to get to that,” he said. “There’s urgency for that because life is so short, so I want to do everything I want to do. I don’t want to come to a point that when I look back, I would regret not doing it and then I won’t have the power to do it anymore.”

Prior to his surgeries, Gary has planned to visit 35 universities and meet the students first and go back and have a concert. But after visiting three or four schools, his health complications arose.

Now, life goes on, the show goes on.

Gift of love

Gary, a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) national ambassador, is giving back starting with concerts in different Ayala Malls.

In the spirit of the season, Ayala Malls host “Awit At Laro,” a project that celebrates music and culture by reintroducing traditional Filipino games to a new generation of youth through music and the arts. The project aims to raise funds for UNICEF, Tukod Foundation, and the Shining Light Foundation.

Gary with Ayala Malls executives (Photo by Noel Pabalete /Manila Bulletin) / Gary with Ayala Malls executives (Photo by Noel Pabalete /Manila Bulletin)

The “Awit At Laro” album features 10 reimagined traditional songs and 10 brand new songs about Filipino games that we’ve loved and perhaps lost in childhood — this Christmas will be the time to experience them again and share them with the younger ones through the uplifting tunes in collaboration with top Filipino composers and singers. There will also be an “Awit At Laro” concert, which will tour 21 malls throughout the country during Christmas season, spreading the joy of music across the Philippines.

Directed by Paolo Valenciano, it will feature Gary, Steps Dance Studio and artists from the album, including his kids Kiana and Gabriel, Jona, Katrina Velarde, Darren Espanto, Lara Maigue, Yeng Constantino, Joey Ayala, RJ Dela Fuente, AC Bonifacio, Daryll Ong, and Janella Salvador, to name a few. The shows begin on Nov. 3 and run until Dec. 22 at Ayala Malls across the country.

There will also be an accompanying songbook containing the lyrics of the songs, a special artwork depicting each song, and a unique code that will allow the recipient to download the music at their convenience.